Abraham Accords (21 September 2020)
Abraham Accords (21 September 2020)
Why in News:
Bahrain and UAE have signed a historic agreement with Israel aimed at normalising relations between the two sides.
U.S. President Donald Trump on 15 Sept, 2020 hosted Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and foreign ministers of the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain for the signing of the historic Abraham Accord, which is the first Arab-Israeli peace deal in 26 years.
This is the first agreement between Israel and Arab countries since the 1994 Jordan-Israel peace treaty.
There were the only two peace deals between Israel and the Arab States in more than a quarter of a century.
Egypt was the first Arab State to sign a peace deal with Israel in 1979.
Summary of the Debate
The Abraham Accords:
- The historic deal has been signed by the UAE, Bahrain and Israel, under U.S. President Donald Trump’s mediation.
- Under the agreement, the UAE and Bahrain would normalise ties with Israel, leading to better economic, political and security engagement.
- The Accord has the backing of Saudi Arabia, a close ally of the UAE and Bahrain.
- The aim of these agreements is to establish diplomatic ties and embassies being located in both the countries, exchange of Ambassadors, cooperation in which they promise to work together.
- The idea is they will be working in various sectors; these sectors include trade, tourism, healthcare and security.
- The Accords will help the Muslims around the world to visit and to peacefully pray at the third holiest site in Islam, Al-Aqsa Mosque.
This normalisation has to be seen in the background of the following major issues:
- New objective foreign policy of UAE which has seen active role in Syria, in Yemen, in Libya, in Egypt and elsewhere and also their ongoing confrontation or cold war with Iran in the background of occupation by Iran of three of their Islands.
- President Trump seeking re-election, his problems with the covid pandemic and challenge by the democrats. So, he needed a diplomatic victory of thought.
- Israel Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu is facing a corruption scandal. He is under an enquiry and also his handling of the pandemic and the weak and vulnerable coalition government.
- Israelis now have realised that if USA is in a withdrawal mode, they have to look afresh as being part of West Asia.
- It is very clear that even though no agreement has been signed by Saudi Arabia itself, they are very clearly behind it because without Saudi Arabia’s blessing, a country like Bahrain could not have gone ahead with such dramatic development.
India’s stake in this region:
- India always taken a holistic balanced position in the region.
- India has a traditional support for the Palestinian cause and that has not weakened in any manner possible. Minister of External Affairs has again reminded the world that India remain committed to the Palestinian cause and the Palestinian have right to live in secure, fixed statehood.
- In the last 26-27 years, India has developed relationship with the Israel and this relationship has progressed to a very significant level where both the countries have considerable exchanges in the defence sector, security field, in trade and commerce, in high technology areas.
- Gulf countries are extremely important for India because India get a lot of its energy supplies from the Gulf countries.
- India has already signed defence cooperation agreement with Qatar, UAE, Saudi Arabia and Oman and it has to be operationalised and this will be a win-win situation not only for India but also for Gulf Countries. India also has robust relations with Israel and growing relations with USA in the military security field. So, in the coming years, India can enhance relationship in the intelligence cooperation in the region. It would safeguard the core interest of Indian workers, India’s energy security, trade and commerce and investments and food security.
Important points made by the Guests
Virendra Gupta, Former Ambassador
Prof. A.K. Pasha, Centre for West Asian Studies, JNU
K.V. Prasad, Senior Associate Editor, The Tribune